Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

glory obrien

Would you try to change the world if you thought it had no future?

Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities — but not for Glory, who has no plan for what’s next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she’s never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way… until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person’s infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions—and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying.

A tyrannical new leader raises an army. Women’s rights disappear. A violent second civil war breaks out. And young girls vanish daily, sold off or interned in camps. Glory makes it her mission to record everything she sees, hoping her notes will somehow make a difference. She may not see a future for herself, but she’ll do everything in her power to make sure this one doesn’t come to pass.

In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl coping with devastating loss at long last—a girl who has no idea that the future needs her, and that the present needs her even more. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17453303-glory-o-brien-s-history-of-the-future?ac=1

Because of its beautiful cover and intriguing title, I picked this book up. It took about thirty pages for me to decide that I was not going to like this book. It felt awkward and weird and just plain unsanitary. But then I remembered the last A.S. King book I read, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, a book I had very much disliked until later on in the story. So I continued to read and found it to be much better. Here’s what I have come to believe about A.S. King: She is different. She is an acquired taste. It takes time to like her, get used to her, love her. At first you’ll think what? This is disgusting! Who do you think you are? But then give her one more try and realize it’s not all that bad. Try again, and man, this is the greatest thing on Earth!

That was a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point. It only took me two books to know that I LOVE A.S. King (although it took some convincing). But enough about the author.

This book kind of hit close to home. My life has no tragic back story (that I know of), but I do know exactly how Glory feels.  She has just graduated high school and has no idea what she is doing with her life. In fact she feels that maybe she doesn’t have a future to look forward to. I don’t know how, but A.S. King has managed to capture the essence of teenage discovery, angst, and selfishness all into a petrified bat inside a book (yes a petrified bat. It is real and will most likely give you the power to see the future–probably not though). When you’re a teenager, you tend to think the world revolves around yourself, since you probably haven’t seen much but your hometown. And that’s how Glory is. By pointing her finger at every person she could, I could see that she was also pointing at herself. I don’t remember if she admits this or not, but she is. That’s what I got. We are all selfish in almost every aspect of our lives. There are very few people, if not none that are completely selfless in life. Glory takes this selfishness and throws it at with he observations of other people’s selfishness, trying to mask her own. And she has every right to be selfish. Everyone does. When she looked at herself, she saw nothing, but when she looked at other people, she saw everything, and in a way, it reflected onto herself.

This selfishness is combined with her own self pity and anger at the world. Why wouldn’t she be angry? But that all changes with the petrified bat. By seeing the future, she is maybe just a little bit more irritating and real than before. And I loved it. Glory is real and strong and brave. She is also a complete mess. I felt such a strong connection with her and couldn’t help the pain I felt when I read this book.

Yes, it got a little ranty at some parts, but for me, it just added to the experience of being a teenager. The predictions of the future were also a bit far-fetched for my taste as well,  but I like the whole surrealistic atmosphere her writing gives. I do not recommend this for everyone.

4/5 STARS

Favorite Song at the moment: Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars (You will hear this song once and want to play it over and over again. Don’t believe me? Just watch ;))

Happy New Year!

It’s 2015…

So I know I’m a bit late to the party, and that I haven’t been very active for the past months. The only excuse I can muster is that school has been so jam packed with work. And that was expected. But I’m going to try and make this work by posting at least once a month. I know that’s a lot less frequent than before, but I can barely even find the time to read books anymore. Last year I read 104 books, my personal best! This year I’d be lucky to read half of that. Anyway, I’m not going anywhere just yet.

Favorite song at the moment: Something’s Gotta Give by All-Time Low (One of my all-time favorite bands–see what I did there?)

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

imgres

“Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she’s not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She’s even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won’t risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty…no matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.” ~https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18285437-rites-of-passage

To be honest, I was at first very skeptical of this book. Everything about just seemed to remind me of that Disney movie, Cadet Kelly. In fact, I probably would have never read it if my friend hadn’t given it to me as a present. As a good friend, I read it right away. And everything I thought was wrong.

This book was so well-written and rightly paced that it sucked me right in. I did a little research and found out that the author went to military school herself and I just have to salute her for that. It sounds like a whole lot of blood and pain. Which made me like Sam so much.

She is probably the most courageous and inspiring character I have ever read about. Her attitude and stubbornness in staying at military school makes almost everyone at the school hate her, but made me love her even more. She endured so much pain to keep her position and become the first female cadet at her military school. So many people angered me during this book, but not Sam. Well, maybe one part, but that would spoil things if I said it.

In short, this was a pleasantly surprising read. No way did I think that I would actually enjoy it, but it hooks you in with it’s well-written plot and determined heroine. Please, do not write this off for its cover or any other one of your judgmental thoughts. I know you have them. I did, too. But this book really was great.

Sorry this review was so short. I don’t have much time to write these anymore.

Rating: 4/ 5 STARS

Favorite Song at the Moment: Hit It by American Authors

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

15745753

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15745753-eleanor-park

In Short: It was a pretty okay read. It deals with some tough issues of abuse and the problems of adolescence. I did have some problems with it though (Eleanor). She was just so annoying sometimes, and that ending was terrible. It was the kind of bittersweet cliffhanger thing that I absolutely hate.

In Length:

This story was just so sweet, but I had quite a few problems. Let’s begin with the greater aspects.

Park. To be honest, he was mostly the reason I continued this book. He was just so…I don’t even know how to describe him. When he first meets Eleanor, he judges her like everyone else. It’s the weird new girl who can’t find a seat on the bus. And guess what? He lets her sit with him anyway. But not because he wants her to, really. He kind of just feels bad for her, and he seems to be the only decent person there. They end up sitting together every bus ride and their relationship grows from Eleanor reading over his shoulder to holding hands and tugging each other’s hair. It was almost real.

He was basically my hero during this book. Not only did he sweep Eleanor off her feet, but me as well. Even though he wasn’t the most honorable guy at certain parts, but he tried to overcome it.

The other reason I loved Park was because he faced issues I face as well. He’s the only half-Korean kid in his school and doesn’t really know where he fits in. it’s confusing not knowing where you belong and I could really relate to that. Eleanor didn’t know where she fit either. I guess part of that is what helped develop their relationship. Neither of them fit, but together, they understood and didn’t feel all that uncomfortable when they were together. I know that it’s hard to find someone to be comfortable around. Adolescence is probably the most messed up and confusing time in a person’s life, so it was good that they had each other.

This plot was exactly what I had been looking for. Riding the bus to school is not a happy memory if you’re anyone like me. It was just a place you had to be at, but didn’t want to. Their love story is basically something a teenage girl has fantasized about all during high school and the bus. It really is a coming of age tale. But it wasn’t executed as well as I had hoped.

To me, Park was the one that did all the growing up. He learned to accept her and fight for her. He didn’t care what others thought. He wanted to be with Eleanor. It was tough in the beginning, but I liked how he always tried.

Now the bad.

Eleanor was…different. I kind of liked her at first, but then it grew to just tolerance. In the beginning, she was this sort of angry, sarcastic, but quiet girl. That didn’t really change in the end. So she fell in “love”. Big whoop. Of course I felt bad about her family life and bullying, but even at her best points I didn’t love her. I guess it just wasn’t for me.

AND THAT ENDING. I was unsatisfied and ultimately annoyed. Also a reason why Eleanor lost some points with me. Poor Park. Sorry, maybe I’m biased because Park is awesome.

I know a lot of people have praised this book so much, and I will give that it was entertaining and sweet, but fell short from the concept. However, I enjoyed it enough to give it 3/5 STARS.

Favorite Song at the Moment: Everybody Wants to Rule the World (cover) by Lorde (it’s from the Catching Fire soundtrack)

Emma by Jane Austen

imgres
Non-Spoiler Review: 1.5/ 5 Stars I just did not enjoy this as much as I wanted to. Emma was clueless (haha get it? Watch the movie). There were many things that made me dislike this novel. The plot was boring and I just found it a little too predictable. And the writing! The reason I don’t read as many classics as I like is because the writing is so hard to get used to! It felt like half the book was filled with long paragraphs explaining why someone felt this or that. Yes, I get it. I’m not incompetent. I do not need five pages of you explaining it to me! If Jane Austen had just cut out a few of these extra-long paragraphs, I may have actually enjoyed the book. The actual way it was written, though, was good. It was quite simple to understand for my stubborn mind, so I thought I’d like it. But no.
The writing was what saved the okay plot, but those hour-long conversations needed some toning down. Overall, it was just alright. I feel like I wasted my time on this, though.

WARNING: Spoiler-y Review
This was my very first Jane Austen novel, and I can honestly say I am not impressed. There is so much hype for all of her works, so I thought I’d pick this up. I cannot, however, say that I am a fan. YET. This was only one novel and I am willing to try again, maybe with Pride and Prejudice? On to the review.
I actually thought that most of this book was okay. The plot was somewhat interesting, but did not jump for my attention. Emma is BORED, at least that’s how I see it. She is a “smart” woman who enjoys control, and likes to have fun while at it, too. Why not set people up? Even poor little Harriet. Oh, let’s pair her up with a man that will probably never give her the time of day because he has never shown a slight interest in her before! Messing with people sure is fun.
Oh Emma…I thought she was supposed to be smart! How could she not see the signs in front of her? Why would she tell Harriet to deny Mr. Martin when she was clearly stricken by him? And Harriet! She was such a boring character. She had no opinions of her own and looked to Emma like she was her God or something. I can’t stress how much I dislike people who cannot speak for themselves. Maybe she’s just shy…no. Her decisions lie in Emma, a rich girl who gets a little bored from time to time so she likes to meddle into people’s lives. Why? Maybe she feels a little unfulfilled with no mother, a sister that’s barely even there, and having to always care for her father. That’s fine. Just admit it to yourself.

I know this book was about growth and coming of age. Emma realized that to achieve happiness she had to open her eyes and look at what she had. So…rich girl realizes her life is perfect *head explodes*. It was just so hard for me to really connect with Emma and sympathize with her.

And Mr. Knightley, the only character I liked moderately. At least he spoke the truth. But he seriously needed to admit his feelings as well as his opinions.

Overall, I was unimpressed, but the writing was good, however it did not save it.

1.5/5 STARS

Burn for Burn and Fire with Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

images
This book was fantastic! Sure, it wasn’t perfect, and there were some things I found wrong with it (unrealistic and oh the stereotypes), but I enjoyed it so much that I stopped caring.
Synopsis: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13406425-burn-for-burn
So Lillia, Kat, and Mary are plotting their revenge on the people that did them wrong. It’s told from all three of their perspectives, and they all have their own distinctive voices. The girls’ victims happen to all be Lillia’s friends, which takes a lot of guts for her to betray all of them (until she finds out the awful things that they’ve done). Did I mention that she’s Asian? *claps for diversity* (even though it’s only her and her family) Kat was the badass of the group, ready to set the gears in motion. Mary was…a mystery. I pretty much ignored her for the first half of the book because her voice was so quiet and seemingly unimportant. I was so wrong.
Overall, I thought this book was loads of fun.
3.5/ 5 Stars
Although I think their revenge schemes were a bit far-fetched, I found it entirely entertaining. Each scheme grew bigger and bigger, until something goes completely wrong. Then you’re left with that terrible cliff-hanger! What the heck?
Good thing the next book is already out:)
MINOR SPOILERS BELOW for Burn for Burn and Fire with Fire****

imgres
I feel so bad for the people who had to wait after that first book. There are pros to being the last person to read a series (haha).
This book takes off right where Burn for Burn ended. First off, if you haven’t read the first book, please leave, read Burn for Burn, and then come back. Or not, whatever you choose.
Anyway, REEVE. What the hell? I’ve never been so conflicted about a character in my entire life. Well, actually, no. I feel conflicted about everyone in this book! I can’t trust anyone, let alone like them without a doubt. I will admit, Reeve was such a jerk in the first book. Then he taught Lillia to swim, and their relationship started forming. *squeals* How do I like someone I hate? Moving on to the more important aspect of this book: MARY. I am so sorry I underestimated in that first half of that book. Her part in this book is a lot more than I expected. I did have my suspicions in the first book, but this confirmed it. Now I can’t wait for the last one (which is thankfully less than a month away)! I expect so much out of the next book, and I better not be let down!
This was so much better than the first book for me. If you loved the first one, you’ll love this even more! THAT TWIST.
If I had to describe this series in three words, they would be: ADDICTIVE, SURPRISING, and DARK. There are probably a lot more words to describe this, but I just chose three.
If you had doubts from the first one, this will be sure to get you hooked!
4/ 5 Stars

Favorite Song at the Moment: Outro by M83 (This song gives me goosebumps)

Isla and the Happily ever After by Stephanie Perkins

imgres Synopsis (provided by Goodreads): From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.
Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

THOUGHTS BEFORE READING:
Two years ago, I first picked up Anna and the French Kiss by this author. I was reluctant at first, ready to hate this book, thinking it’d be just another boring contemporary. Boy, I was wrong. I flew through, eager to get my hands on the next book, Lola and the Boy Next Door. I did not enjoy that one quite as much, but I still looked forward to reading the next installment. Even though it kept getting pushed back, I remained a dedicated fan and awaited in agony for the last treat.
ACTUAL REVIEW:
Now that I’ve finished the book, it is safe to say that it is now my new favorite in the companion trilogy. This book hit a home run. First of all, I was intrigued with Josh from the beginning, and was delighted to finally get to see more of his character. There were all sorts of cutesy, gushy romance that Perkins is famous for, but what I liked most about this book had nothing to do with that. Sure, I loved the relationship, but Perkins added an extra something to the story. Probably the deepest of her novels so far…
From the beginning I had an attachment to Isla and Josh. She was shy and short, and he was this mysterious artist. But like I said, I didn’t love it for the romance. I loved it for the reality; the painful reality of our own self doubts and projection toward others. These two grew the most out of all of Perkins’s lovable characters. Sometimes, in life, we end up sabotaging ourselves because we’re afraid and uncertain. I cried with Isla as she wept about being so confused. She was so unsure about who she was going to be and what she was going to do. Her aspirations seemed to be tracks others had picked out for her, or ones she was just stuck with. She felt as though she had no real passion for anything in her life.
And Josh, he had issues of his own. Parents, school, friends and his own sort of self doubt. It was beautiful to watch them grow up and transition into the people they ended up in the end. They were FLAWED, which was my favorite part about them.
If you are unsure of reading this, I would recommend that you do. This was by far the best book by her I have read yet.
RATING: 5/5 stars

P.S. It’s my blog’s one year anniversary! To celebrate, I am starting up that thing I tried to do the first time. It’s that thing belong this thing.

Here: LISTEN TO THIS SONG: Power Hungry Animals by The Apache Relay